Amy Bockerstette from Special Olympics Arizona played the famous 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale with Gary Woodland earlier this week during a practice round, and the entire thing was pretty awesome. Bockerstette has Down syndrome, but that didn't keep her from wowing Woodland with her ability on the course.
Bockerstette, who received a community college scholarship to play golf after making the high school state tournament for two straight years, made a par on the hole after getting up and down from a tough spot in the sand. Woodland appeared blown away by the entire thing, but Bockerstette owned the hole, saying things like, "You can do this," to herself as she played.
There was genuine disbelief and excitement from Woodland, last year's winner of this tournament, when she buried a 15-foot putt for par at the end. An amazing moment punctuated by pure joy. He kept repeating, "That is so awesome, you are so awesome," because what else could he say?
"I've been blessed to do lot of cool things on the golf course, but that is by far the coolest thing I've ever experienced," Woodland said. "She was phenomenal. And then to step up in front of all the people and the crowd and everything and to hit the shots that she hit and made par. I've never rooted so hard for somebody on a golf course and it was an emotional, emotional really cool experience."
"It's phenomenal. I told her yesterday she was an inspiration to all of us and we can all learn from her," Woodland added. "She was dealt with some serious issues, and she's overcome them and she is phenomenal. She was so sweet yesterday, she was so excited and happy and that's something that we can all learn from. When things aren't going our way we can definitely look back at her. And I told her she was a hero and to keep doing what she's doing because we're all going to be following her."
Bockerstette spoke last year to her fellow high school seniors and reminded them of 13 different things she learned in her journey through high school and onto Paradise Valley Community College.
13. We are all different, with our own abilities, gifts and talents. By coming together, we make our school and the world a better place.
She's definitely made the world a better place this week.